It’s that time of the year when the Blue Flag beaches are announced. 2018 has seen 65 English beaches get the Blue Flag Award which is 3 down on last year and we also have 125 Seaside awards.

Six beaches have lost their Blue Flag award, these are Wallasey, Scarborough, Withensea, Hornsea, Joss Bay and Porthminister. Whilst three have gained Blue Flags, being Margate Main Sands, Isle of Sheppey Leysdown beach, and Great Western beach in Newquay.

Just click on a title to go to our beach information pages.

England Blue Flag Awards

East Midlands Blue Flags

4 winners

East of England Blue Flags

12 Winners

North East Blue Flags

6 Winners

North West Blue Flags

1 Winner

Yorkshire Blue Flags

1 Winner

South East Blue Flags

15 Winners

South West Blue Flags

26 Winners

Blue Flag is a mark of a quality beach

The Blue Flag beach award is widely recognised as an indication for a good quality beach and has moved on a lot since it started in France in 1985. Most people think a Blue Flag indicates a clean and safe water but although it does, it actually measures a beach against a lot more criteria:

  • Environmental Education and Information. This includes displaying details on the Blue Flag award along with details on the water quality, a beach map including locations of facilities.
  • Water Quality. This is about the water being safe to swim in and water samples are taken at regular points during the bathing season and the year gets an overall grade. Each of our beach pages gives a summary of the current water quality.
  • Environmental Management. This category is about managing the beach and keeping it clean along with facilities like toilets being available to the public.
  • Safety and Services. This is a big one for families with children as a beach should be patrolled by lifeguards. Other criteria include the availability of drinking water and accessibility features.

Not having a Blue Flag does not mean a beach should be avoided as the tough criteria described above is only really suited to large seaside resorts and smaller villages and remote bays can’t offer the same level of management. This means they just don’t participate in the scheme and local countries have their own awards to recognise some of these other beaches.

The blue flag certification process is carried out every year by local quality organisations and for our beaches in the UK the annual results are announced at the end of May or beginning of June.

For more information and details of the assessment criteria visit the Blue Flag Award website.

For a full list of blue flag beaches see our list at UK Blue Flag Beaches.